Tomás de Almeida

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Tomás de Almeida

Cardinal, Patriarch of Lisbon
D. Tomás de Almeida (1670-1754).png
ChurchRoman Catholic Church
SeeCathedral of St. Mary Major
Installed7 December 1716
Term ended27 February 1754
PredecessorJoão IV de Sousa
as Archbishop of Lisbon
SuccessorJosé I Manuel da Câmara
Other postsBishop of Lamego (1706–09)
Bishop of Porto (1709–16)
Ordination12 June 1695
Consecration3 April 1707
Created cardinal20 December 1737
by Clement XII
Personal details
Born(1670-09-11)11 September 1670
Lisbon, Portugal
Died27 February 1754(1754-02-27) (aged 83)
Lisbon, Portugal
EducationReal Colégio de São Paulo, Coimbra
Colégio de Santo Antão
Styles of
Tomás de Almeida
Coat of Arms of Cardinal Tomás de Almeida.svg
Reference styleHis Eminence
Spoken styleYour Eminence
Informal styleCardinal

Tomás de Almeida (Lisbon, 11 September 1670 - Lisbon, 27 February 1754) was the first Patriarch of Lisbon, formerly Bishop of Lamego and later of Porto. Pope Clement XII elevated him to the cardinalate on 20 December 1737.


Early life[edit]

Son of António de Almeida-Portugal, 2nd Count of Avintes and Governor of the Algarves, and of his wife Maria Antonia de Bourbon, sister of the 3rd Count of Avintes. He studied Latin, philosophy and rhetoric in the Colégio de Santo Antão with the Jesuits. At the age of 18, on 20 December 1688, he took a scholarship to attend the Real Colégio de São Paulo of the University of Coimbra, where he graduated.

In 1695, he was a deputy of the Inquisition of Lisbon, and on 27 August 1695 was dispatched to preside over the Tribunal of the Port Relation. On 1 June 1702, he took office as procurator and deputy of the Treasury of the Queen's Council, plus the priory of the church of São Lourenço de Lisboa. On 13 April 1703, appointed deputy of the Bureau of Conscience and Orders, already decorated as a knight of the Order of Christ.

On 28 May 1704, as King Pedro II departed for Beira, leaving his brother as regent, Diogo de Mendonça Corte-Real was chosen as the substitute, who accompanied him at the Secretariat of Mercy, Expedient and Signature.


Tomás de Almeida was made sumilher da cortina, Governor of the Royal Treasury, Chancellor of the Kingdom, taking office on 24 November 1704. The Papal Bull of Clement XI made him Bishop of Lamego, sacred in Lisbon in the church of the Convent of Grace on 3 April 1707, chief chaplain and titular Bishop of Torga Dom Frei Nuno da Cunha e Ataíde. He entered the diocese on the 2nd of May. As there was disagreement between the cabinet and the Bishop of Viseu, he was able to ease tensions and was made by the King, already sick and whom he had seen in his last hours, Notary Public of the Kingdom.

On 1 July 1707, the day of the Royal Acclamation, King João V appointed him to be Registrar of the Pureness.

On 3 May 1708, he travelled to Coimbra on a commission at the Real Colégio de São Paulo. José de Santa Maria Saldanha was appointed Bishop of Porto by decree of April 30 and royal charter of 26 May 1709, and on the same date Governor of Arms of the same city.

On 7 November 1716, Pope Clement, delivering his services to the College of Cardinals in consistory, elevated the Royal Collegiate Chapel of São Tomé to a metropolitan cathedral with the title "Holy Patriarcal Cathedral".

He was named Chief Chaplain-Patriarch in the Royal Charter of 4 December 1713, confirmed on December 7 by the Holy See, making him the first Patriarch of Lisbon.

On 13 February 1717, Tomás entered Lisbon in majestic solemnity attended by the secular and regular clergy, state officials, a court procession, and troops formed in wings. Father Francisco de Santa Maria recorded the events as follows:

"His entry started in the church of San Sebastião da Pedreira, the noblemen of the court waiting for him on horseback. He took to the carriage and came marching with light accompaniment to the church of Santa Marta; then went down on horseback to the gates of Santo Antão, where the altar was erected. He left dressed pontifically with his cloak and white miter, and mounted a mule, covered with a white linen cloth, the reins given to Brother D. Luis, Count of Avintes. When the councillors of the two chambers of Lisbon and the two wings that formed the regular communities, confraternities and brotherhoods of the city received him under a canopy of precious canvas, they arrived at the Holy Patriarchal Cathedral, this act to the hymn Te Deum laudamus, sung with solemnity."

On 17 November 1717, he had the honor to bless the first stone, medal and foundations of the Royal Basilica of Mafra.

He baptized the Infantes D. Pedro and D. Alexandre, and the four children of the Prince of Brazil.

On 11 January 1728, he celebrated in the Holy Patriarchal Cathedral the marriage of the Infanta Dona Maria Bárbara to the Prince of Asturias, and on 20 January 1729, in Elvas, that of the Prince of Brazil with the Princess Dona Mariana Vitória.


On 20 December 1737, he ascended to the cardinalate. He received the red hat in the Oratory of the Palace where he lived near the church of São Roque. He came to Lisbon to receive, on 3 March 1738, Julio Sacchetti, envoy of the Holy See, Canon of St. Peter in the Vatican and the Pope's chief chamberlain. On 13 November 1746, the Holy Patriarchal Cathedral which the King had built after the extinction of the Eastern diocese by Benedict XIV, was destroyed by an earthquake.

On 7 September 1750, he attended the acclamation of Joseph I of Portugal. On 27 October 1753, he offered the Brotherhood of Santa Isabel part of his expensive silver flatware for their assistance in the reconstruction of the Cathedral, upon his death he bequeathed the rest to them, then worth more than four reals.

He spent large sums of money on the construction of convents, churches, and other religious bodies. He remained controversial with Alexandre de Gusmão and Diogo de Mendonça Corte-Real.

His body is interred in Igreja de São Roque, in Lisbon.


  • BARBOSA ( D. José ) - PANAGYRICO / AO EXCELLENTISS. E REVERENDISS. SENHOR D. THOMAZ DE ALMEIDA, Principal of the Holy Western Church, of the Council of His Majesty. /, & c. / COMPOSED BY / ... / Regular Clergyman / Examiner of the Three Military Orders, and Synodal of the Patriarchate, Chronist of the Serene House of Bragança, and Royal Academician of the number of Portuguese History. WESTERN LISBON, At the Offices of ANTONIO ISIDORO DA FONSECA, Printer of Duque Estribeiro mòr. Year of 1739. The author was born in Lisbon on November 23, 1674, and died in the same city on April 6, 1750. Cleric Regular Teatino was a chronicler of the House of Braganza. The work tries to highlight the virtues and abilities of D. Tomás de Almeida, chosen by D. João V to be the first Cardinal-Patriarch of Lisbon.

External links[edit]

  • "Tomás de Almeida". David M. Cheney. [self-published]
  • The Cardinals of the Holy Roman Church